Whitetip Reef Shark


Whitetip Reef Shark Identification

Whitetip Reef Shark Identification

Whitetip Reef Shark abundance in Morotai is just second to the Blacktip Reef Shark where they can be found easily in the Terminal Gurango, as well as the Grey Shark Point. Whitetip Reef Shark latin name is Triaenodon obesus which classified by Rupper in 1837. It is commonly known by local fisherman in Indonesia as Hiu Bokem, Hiu Karang Buas, or Hiu Coklat as well as nationally recognized as Hiu Sirip Putih. They can be found in the area that has a better coverage on Table Coral – a safe haven to them for rest and relax, or in the crevice as well as small cave in the wall or flat bottom. Differ from Blacktip Reef Shark and Grey Shark, the Whitetip Reef Shark has their own mechanism to pump the seawater with oxygen through their five-gills.

Identifying features:
1. First dorsal and upper lobe of caudal fin with distijctive white tips
2. Interdorsal ridge absent
3. Second dorsal fin large, about half to three quarter height of 1st dorsal fin
4. Snout very short, broadly rounded, tip blunt (view ventrally)
5. Upper and lower teeth smooth edged with a long, narrow central cusp,flanked either side by a strong cusplet

Whitetip Reef Shark can grow to about 200 cm; males and females mature at 112–118 and 114–122 cm respectively; born at 52–60 cm. A reef-associated shark resting on or near the bottom in caves and crevices on coral reefs during the day, usually in clear shallow water in depths of 8–40 m, but has also been reported from a depth of 330 m. Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta; gives birth to litters of about 2 or 3 pups (maximum 5) after a 10–12 month gestation period. Curious but rarely aggressive species. Known to be ciguatoxic in rare circumstances.

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